Differences between Chinese and Western Table Manners Abstract: China is a nation of etiquette, whose table manners have a long history. In fact, western countries have their own peculiar dining custom. Knowing our table manners can make us polite in the public, and knowing western dining customs can let us integrate into world preferably. Key words: China, western countries, table manners, differences. ?? :??????? ,????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ,????????????????????????? ??? :?? ???? ,???? ,??? 1. Introduction Due to the Chinese people and foreigners have different life styles, the way of thinking, cultures, the table manners between china and western countries show a big difference.
Chinese table manners have a long history, which date from Zhou Dynasty, at that time table manners have a quite complete system. Those table manners gradually go to a level of mature and perfect, moreover, they took an important part in the past and still have a deep influence in the modern society.
Western dining customs originate in Merovingian Dynasty, France, and in the 20 century, Italian culture came to France, table manners and menu turned to be more elegant and delicate, from that time, books of etiquette are published gradually.
Today, table manners inherit in Europe. Table manners in Western countries have influence on Chinese table manners because of World Integration. In order to protect our table culture, we can make the two table manners integrated, which is good for us communicating with foreigners.
So, it is necessary for us to know the differences of the two table manners. 2. Different table manners between China and West 1) Table setting In China: We prefer to the round table in the Chinese banquets. If there is just a round table in the family dinner, so it has no table order. But if the banquets are held in a restaurant or a hall and there are two or over two round table, then it must have the table setting order. The rule of table setting is that the top table is the round table which is back to the restaurant or the hall and the right of which is senior and the left is inferior.
If there are three round tables, then the table in the middle is senior, the right is next and the left is second. Anyway, the right is honor and the left is low, whatever how many the tables are. There are four basic ways of setting arrangement: First host should sit facing the main door, then guest of honor sit on the right of the host and deputy chief gust on the left. Second, when the banquets arrive to the scale of more than one table, every table should have a representative of host and the setting is on the same way of the host, sometimes he or she can face to the host on the main table.
Third, taking the table of the host sitting as the sign, the guest on its right is honor and the left is low. Fourth, if the position of the host is inferior to the guest of honor, the host can ask guest to sit where the host should have seated and the host sit on his right. As for the dinning of less than five people, its table setting can follow those four rules: right is honor and the left is low; the middle seat is senior; the seat of facing the door is the top; flexibility arrangement. In west: In the west, the long tables are the choice in the banquet.
They also think that the right is honor and the left is low. In the banquet, the host and hostess sit from each other, gentleman of honor sit near the host, his Madame sit near the hostess and the others follow them. In the informal party, it follows that women is first. If a man and a woman have a diner, the man should let the woman sit on his right and don’t let she sit near to the passageway; anyway the man ought to let the woman sit inside. When there are two couples, ladies should sit against the wall and the opposite are their husbands.
When two men with a woman, men should let woman sit in the middle place. When two people have a dinner, the senior sit inside. Besides, men should remove the chairs and let women sit first. 2) dinnerware In China: The dinnerware we use are those: the chopsticks, small dishes, spoons, bowl and so on. In the banquet, water glass is on the left of the dishes and wineglass is on the right. Chopstick and soup spoon can be put on the special seat or in the paper sleeve. And the toothpick and ashtray is necessary. In west:
They prefer to use the knife and fork, spoon, dish, glass and so on. In the way of setting, Chinese dinner is easy but western dinner is complex. The setting ways of the western dinner in the world is basically unified. The common principle is: under plate is placed in the middle; fork is on the left and knife is right, knifepoint keeps upward and knife edge inward; spoon is putted on the front of plate; main dish is left and dinnerware is right, the others are putted by circumstances. Besides, the number of wine glasses equal to the variety of wine.
And the putting ways are in the order of that strong wine glass, wine glass, champagne glass, beer glass. The napkin is placed on the plate. If the guest wants to put something in the plate before the dinner, the napkin can be putted beside the plate. There is one sentence concluding their using rule: right hand with knife and left hand with fork, the whole dinnerware using is ecto-entad. (3) The order of serving In China: The first dishes are cold dishes, beverage and wine; then the hot dishes; next staple food; at last the sweets and fruit.
When the banquet has many tables, each table should be on every dish at the same time. Besides, hot dishes should be served from the left side opposite the seat of the guest of honor, single copies of vegetables or side dishes and snacks should be given to the guest first then the host. Plastic dishes like whole chicken, whole duck, and whole fish can’t put their heads and tails toward the host seat. In general, there are several ways of serving: First, the big dish is putted side, self-served by the people. Second, a waiter holds a dish one by one to each guest.
Third, it is in full bloom with small dishes, and then each one enjoys those dishes. In the banquet, each dish like slide show, each time a dish is served. Some tips: in the wedding banquet or other red banquet, the plates on the table can be overlapped, meaning that a good thing comes again and again. While, in the White Banquet like funeral the plates cannot be overlapped, the reason, I think, you can guess. In west: Western serving steps are usually that: bread and butter, cold dishes, soup, seafood, main course, dessert, coffee and fruit.
Eating the cold dishes, soup and bread at the same time. Cold dishes, also known as appetizer dish, served as the first course, usually with an aperitif. And soup includes stains soup and cream soup. The main course has fish, pork, beef, and chicken and so on. Dissert usually has ice-cream, pudding etc. 3) rules when enjoying the meal In China: Chinese food its atmosphere is lively, people like chatting over eating. But talking and laughing loudly is not polite. While eating, the older is first, when a dish served the young can’t eat until the older eat.
When a person has a cough, he or she should turn his or her back. In west: Men should move the seat for women. People always talk with their neighbors when eating, they don’t talk loudly. They do not use their own utensils for others to take their food; do not cut food on a plate after a good use of all right hand fork to eat; do not put the bones and food that don’t eat on the floor or on the tablecloth, while put them on the on the plate of iceberg. Besides, the polite way is eating out the food on your plate. . Conclusion In summary, the Chinese table manners and western table manners have many similarities and differences. Understanding the western table manners is of great help to the development of Chinese civilization and the survival abroad. We should behavior ourselves in the banquet. But, my ability is limited, the inadequacy of article is not avoided, I hope the readers forgive me. Bibliography: 1. ??? ,???. ???????.?? :??????????. 2. ?? ,??? ,???.????????.???????? ,2008. 6. 3. ??.??????????.????? ,2009. 12.
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